Since 2002 Perimeter Institute has been recording seminars, conference talks, and public outreach events using video cameras installed in our lecture theatres. Perimeter now has 7 formal presentation spaces for its many scientific conferences, seminars, workshops and educational outreach activities, all with advanced audio-visual technical capabilities. Recordings of events in these areas are all available On-Demand from this Video Library and on Perimeter Institute Recorded Seminar Archive (PIRSA). PIRSA is a permanent, free, searchable, and citable archive of recorded seminars from relevant bodies in physics. This resource has been partially modelled after Cornell University's arXiv.org.
The arrow of time dilemma: the laws of physics are invariant for time inversion, whereas the familiar phenomena we see everyday are not (i.e. entropy increases). I show that, within a quantum mechanical framework, all phenomena which leave a trail of information behind (and hence can be studied by physics) are those where entropy necessarily increases or remains constant. All phenomena where the entropy decreases must not leave any information of their having happened. This situation is completely indistinguishable from their not having happened at all.
Observations are opening new windows to test general relativity at cosmological scales. In this talk, I will discuss how gravity determines the expansion and structure formation of the universe, what smoking guns of gravity in the cosmos we are expecting, what difficulties we are facing to perform unambiguous tests of gravity and what are possible ways to overcome these difficulties.
Non-linear structures in the universe leave characteristic imprints in the cosmic microwave background. These include Compton scattering (Sunyaev-Zeldovich effects) and gravitational lensing. The South Pole Telescope now has a catalog of massive galaxy clusters that were discovered this way, along with a measure of the background fluctuations generated by smaller clusters, that can be used to chart the growth of structure in the universe.
We have announced the results from 7 years of observations of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) on January 26. In this talk we will present the cosmological interpretation of the WMAP 7-year data, including the detection of primordial helium, images of polarization of microwave background around temperature peaks, and new limits on inflation and properties of neutrinos. We also report a significant detection of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect and discuss implications for the gas pressure in clusters of galaxies.
A systematic method to construct 4d N=2 supersymmetric theories by compactifying M5-branes on a Riemann surface was found by Gaiotto last year.
This suggests that any physical quantity of the 4d theory should be reflected in another physical quantity of the 2d theory living on the Riemann surface.
Indeed, one finds that the instanton partition function of the 4d theories equals the conformal blocks of the 2d theory.
I would like to illustrate this construction through explicit examples.
Many putative explanations in physics rely on idealized models of physical systems. These explanations are inconsistent with standard philosophical accounts of explanation. A common view holds that idealizations can underwrite explanation nonetheless, but only when they are what have variously been called Galilean, approximative, traditional or controllable. Controllability is the least vague of these categories, and this paper focuses on the relation between controllability and explanation. Specifically, it argues that the common view is an untenable half-measure.